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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

What To Do When You're Stopped By A Corrupt Cop

The people who wear the badge and adorn the vest, are usually people that want to serve their communities. Policemen and women are from the neighborhood that you grew up in. They went to the same school as you did, they have experienced many of the national events that you have. It's clear the overwhelming majority of police are hard-working honest people. It's not right to tarnish everyone with the same brush. But that is a challenging thought when you run into a corrupt cop. When you’re stopped and pulled over by a police officer, there are a few things you need to know. They are reacting to everything you do, so the less strange and unpredictable movements you make, the less trouble you could be in. Yet, you as a citizen also have rights. Rights which officers should not abuse but you may run into a cop that is willing to go over the line. In which case, what can you do?

Relax and obey
The police officer will give you instructions on what to do when he or she pulls you over. The best thing you can do is, simply relax and follow their orders. Try to be positive and don’t do less or more than what they tell you. They might ask you where you’re going. Just speak with the officer, don’t try to reach anything to prove your point. For example, if you’re trying to communicate to the officer that you’re lost and perhaps you were speeding because you’re unfamiliar with the roads, don’t reach down to pull up your smartphone to show the officer you’re using satellite navigation. The officer might think you’re reaching for something that could pose a threat to him or her. Thus you need to only do the exact amount of what the officer asks you. Engage in dialogue but keep your hands where they can be seen at all times.

Voice your rights
Modern police forces are wearing body cameras. Some states have passed them into law so a police officer must wear his or her body cam. You can see the camera is on by the small light that should be on the camera itself. You should take comfort in this fact, as the camera is there to show the whole story should anything obscure happen. You must voice your rights if you believe you’re being mistreated. However, even still you need to do so in a respectful manner and not turn it into a shouting contest. The officer also knows your rights so it's not as if you’re teaching them anything. Think ahead, if the situation turns into a court case either for or against you, the evidence will be on the body cam. Make your objection obvious but don’t use it as a reason to be rude and uncooperative.

A wrongful action
It's rare but it can and does happen. A police officer may abuse their power and treat you in a very demeaning way. They might get physical and use force that is not warranted for the situation. This can result in bodily harm which can be mentally and physically scarring. For that reason, you may wish to talk to a personal injury lawyer which can handle police brutality cases. They will build up a case involving all the evidence. They’ll also look to build up a character profile of the guilty police officer, check their background to see if they have any previous engagement of a similarly aggressive manner. It's in your best interest to not struggle and stay calm. The best way to fight back against this sort of mistreatment is in the courts. Situations, where citizens begin to fight police officers at the side of the road, can result in deadly shootings. So it's best to rely on the officer’s own body cam and his or her police car’s dashcam to prove your innocence.

Record it yourself
You never know what might happen during a roadside police stop. It's in your best interest to use your smartphone to record the whole event. Just place it on your dashboard, facing you and set it to record. There have been some instances whereby the body cam of an officer has vanished for some unknown reason. Whether it be department corruption or the footage being destroyed by the police officer who wore the camera, there may be a chance that evidence is scrubbed.

Always be polite to a police officer who has pulled you over. It's okay to voice your opinion but having a loud argument will go against you in court. Better to obey the orders of the officer and record the event using your phone.
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